If you live in an apartment or a condominium, sometimes right in the dead of night, you would hear sounds of marble dropping from the floor above. Sometimes hear you also hear your neighbour dragging furniture late at night.
Last year, while many of us are stuck at home, a man from Hougang called the police 80 times because his neighbour who lives upstairs has been allegedly dragging this chair repeatedly. The neighbour denied making those noises and claimed he has rubber padding on his furniture.
Is it your imagination, or is there a ghost in your place?
Some believed that it is a child spirit playing with marbles.
Let us try to explain to you what is happening here.
The sounds are actually coming from the water pipes.
Yes. There is no 'ghost' trying to catch your attention here, nor any paranormal activities are going on, but just the activities of your water pipes.
Water hammer can occur in any piping system where valves control the flow of liquid or steam. Water hammer results from a pressure surge or high-pressure shockwave that propagates through a piping system when water is forced to change direction or stop abruptly.
In less technical term, if someone turns off a tap or flushes their toilet, there will be a change in water pressure in the pipes.
There are water pipes running in between your ceiling and floors around you. The change in pressure rattles the pipes and creates clanging sounds. This sound you probably hear would be the sound of marbles dropping on the floor or the sound of furniture being dragged around.
This rattling of pipes will continue a couple of times, with less force each time until the pressure is stabilised. Sometimes the pressure is so huge that it leads to a "bang sound" within the pipes, which will sound like someone dragging the furniture.
Apart from the water hammer phenomenon, a few other phenomenons could cause the marble-dropping sound.
It could also be the air bubbles trapped in the sanitary pipes. The soapy air bubbles could burst and echo through the piping system. This also creates similar sounds of marble dropping.
Another reason for the 'marble dropping' effect could be the water dripping within pipes due to air-conditioner condensation.
But wait, why does it only happen at night?
It's just because more people use the water supply at night! But also, in the dead of night, there's lack of white noise.
When no television or smartphone is turning on, the only sound you would focus on is the 'marble dropping' sound.
Why do I hear these sounds even without neighbour above me and the sound sounded like it's from above?
Sound can travel. It could be someone flushing their toilet on the sixth floor, and you would hear it on the eleventh floor.
So, there you go. There is no 'child spirit' playing with marbles at night nor annoying neighbours moving in the middle of the night.
Share this with your family and friends living in a condominium or apartment.